Man walking off between two trees

Strong relationships make challenges a walk in the park– Roger’s story

Do you love the great outdoors?

Are you a people person who loves face-to-face time -instead of Facetime?

Then you’ll relate to Roger, for whom this has been lacking. Like it has for all of us of late.

Roger (not his real name) is a nature lover, autistic, in his sixties and living in registered care. He loves the outdoors so much that he needs two team members to support him to stay calm when he is out.

So, when covid hit, measures like lockdown and restrictions on staffing meant his world, like ours, shrank to four garden walls.

Roger’s parents have passed away, he still has his two older sisters, but the distance is too far for them to travel, so they like to meet Roger somewhere in the middle.

Whereas a pub might function as a halfway house for most of us, it’s overwhelming for Roger. Instead, his sensory needs are met by nature. So, when restrictions lifted, Roger, the team, and his sisters began a plan to meet at Staple Hill.

If Roger loves the outdoors so much, why does he need a plan?

  1. Roger has ticks, doesn’t communicate with words, and even though he loves the great outdoors, sometimes it’s a bit too great, and he gets anxious about staying in control if he leaves the bus.
  2. So, historically, the bus became his comfort zone. For Roger to walk away from the bus is a big step he only makes when the team supporting him knows him well.
  3. Because he hadn’t been out for so long, we didn’t know how he would be when the day comes.

The bus pulls up, and Roger is happy to get on it with two team members he knows well. So far, so good!

Driving through the trees to the top of the hill, the question on everyone’s lips is…

Will Roger get off the comfort bus?

Down syndrome man with his arm around his dad

The bus pulls up; the key turns off, the door opens, and… Roger bounds out hugging his team!

We know it’s critical for Roger to have solid relationships with his team.

We know strong relationships strengthen more relationships as they grow.

We know Roger and his team have laid a firm foundation for Roger to return.

We know this makes a picnic with his two sisters (whom he hasn’t seen since pre-pandemic times) a walk in the park.

What about you?

Do you know you want to get off your comfort bus and go make a difference?

Are you inspired to take the chance to build strong relationships with the people we support so they can get more from life?

If you know it’s time to replace facetime with real-world face time, then we’d love to hear from you.

Re-open your world by taking our quiz to see if you’d make a strong support worker here.

And if the answer is YES! Why not take the next step to explore our vacancies at the end?

The Dimensions group (which Discovery is a part of) has been officially accredited as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces by the Great Place to Work Institute for two years running. Additionally, this year, we received a “Wellbeing” award and a Great Workplace for Women award.